Abbotsford – The Abbotsford Chamber is requesting that the current Inter-Municipal Business Licence (IMBL) program boundaries be extended to encompass the entire Lower Mainland. The request was  made to City Council on February 29, 2016 after members surveyed indicated a strong support to enhance and enlarge the existing program.

The Inter-Municipal Business Licence (IMBL) reduces red tape by allowing construction and trades-related businesses to operate in more than one municipality, rather than by obtaining non-resident licences in each municipality in which they operate. Currently there are 11 mobile business licence agreements in BC with 73 participating municipalities. In the Lower Mainland there are four programs: Fraser Valley, Metro West, North/West Vancouver, and Tri-cities.

Several municipalities participate in more than one if they are conveniently located.

Construction and trades related businesses are currently able to purchase a licence each one of the four programs; however, this change would encompass the entire area with one licence.

Chambers of Commerce in the Lower Mainland have been working on this initiative together with the Small Business Programs section of the BC Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.

The Chamber has requested the City to:

1. Implement an additional Regional Inter-Municipal Business Licence Program for the Lower Mainland B.C. Region.

2. Develop educational and awareness strategies to ensure members are able to take advantage of the opportunities the program provides, and to ensure members are compliant with the various municipalities licensing requirements.

“I have heard from our members who have an IMBL that it greatly helps them as they fewer licences and paperwork to worry about. This saves them time and money,” said Abbotsford Chamber President Josh Bach.

The Chamber recently participated in a survey distributed through 13 Chambers and Boards of Trade, in partnership with the BC Chamber, and represents a membership of over 13,000. Of those responding, more than 80% strongly indicated support for expansion into one convenient program extending from the North Shore through to Hope.

Further, the survey results indicated that over 40% of respondents throughout the region either were not aware of the IMBL program or had little knowledge of whether a licence in another municipality is required if they are just “visiting” a client.

“I believe it is of great importance to have business at the table when business by-laws are developed and improved upon,” said Bach. “Together we can ensure that the needs of Abbotsford and businesses are met while minimizing red tape and keeping the fees reasonable.”

The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce is a membership driven organization comprised of partnership with the business community, our mission is to represent, serve and connect our members to build and sustain a thriving business community in Abbotsford.

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